May 24, 2011

Creating a Rock Garden

I have an area just off the patio on the back of my house that I have been working on for a couple of years now.  When we adopted our dog, a fence had to go up along that area, and it created a lovely place to tuck in a new garden. {smile}  I've been able to add quite a few perennials to this area by moving things from other areas of the garden.

The tough part of this area is a large piece of concrete right in the middle of this space.  We have no idea what it was there for.  It has made planting nearly impossible, until I realized that many ground covers and rock garden perennials have shallow roots that creep along the ground instead of burying deep.  So last week I added several bags of top soil (I chose the cheapest I could find because it is mixed with sand, just what the rock garden plants like!)over the top of the concrete slab and started arranging rocks to create a new rock garden.  I have many large rocks that had been a border in the back garden that I am moving around because I am going to try a different border.  So they were perfect to move to this location.

Thanks to Niepagan's, I came home with some new rock garden plants and ground covers to try and to share with you!

The Stepables brand is pretty clever.  These are all ground covers that can be stepped on!  Each is coded to the amount of foot traffic it can handle.  This cute little thing is a 'Pink Chintz' Thymus praecox.  Not that I am placing it in a path, but this one is coded for moderate traffic which can be stepped on 1-2 times per day.  It is also marked as having moderate growth.

This little beauty is a John Creech Sedum.  My youngest daughter picked this one out because she thought the plant formation looks like tiny roses.  Aren't they cute?  Although you may worry about how quickly sedums or other ground covers will spread, be sure to read the tags and many times it will tell you what to expect.  This is labeled as growing 10" in three years.

I was enamored with this  sedum 'tricolor' for it's varigated foliage.  It will have tiny pink flowers this summer.  Butterflies like this plant as well, so that is a bonus for me!

I already have some smaller hen and chicks in this area, but added this 'Red Rubin variety.

 I was thrilled to find this cute little plant that loves the shade and is so bright and cheery.  'Outback Sunset' Moneywort works perfectly hidden among the hostas.

I am really pleased with how it is looking.  I moved the birdbath up next to the patio because the tree above kept it full of leaves.  In the center of the rock ring is a bog area I created several years ago where I have planted some 'Joe Pye Weed', ferns and soon some new Astilbe, which all love wetter conditions.  As you can see, the concrete slab is no longer visible.  I will need to mulch very well here, keeping in mind that the roots are shallow and will need some winter protection.  I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress in this little corner!

Thanks again to Niepagan's for providing the awesome new perennials!  Be sure to go check out their greenhouse, where the blooming is in awesome splendor!

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